Settler plot to bomb Arab school foiled

Los Angeles Times

May 13, 2002

JERUSALEM -- Israeli security forces, already battling attacks by Palestinian militants on Jewish civilians, said over the weekend that they foiled an attempt by radical Jewish settlers to detonate a powerful bomb at a school for Arab girls in east Jerusalem.

Investigators were said to be questioning four suspects to determine whether they were responsible for any recent attacks against Palestinians, including a bombing in March at another school in east Jerusalem.

Police arrested the men two weeks ago, but details of their arrest and alleged plot were revealed to Israeli media for the first time over the weekend.

The bomb, according to authorities, was rigged to explode when the 1,500 students in the A-Tur neighborhood gathered for morning assembly in the school's courtyard. The device was composed of two barrels of gasoline and two gas balloons.

Agents with Israel's Shin Bet secret service, who were questioning the suspects, acknowledged that they knew nothing of the apparent plot until police noticed the Jewish men acting suspiciously in the Arab neighborhood on April 29.

Copyright 2002, Chicago Tribune